London and home counties based folk will want to get the heads-up on a new monthly strand to be launched by the British Film Institute (next month). Michael Blyth, who oversees the Cult programme at the BFI London Film Festival as well as the BFI Flare festival, will be presenting cult movies every month at the BFI Southbank.
Kicking off proceedings with a theme centred on one of my favourite writers, HP Lovecraft, titled From Beyond: HP Lovecraft on Film, audiences will be able to see Stuart Gordon's 1980s splatter classic, Re-Animator, and John Carpenter's 1994 picture, In the Mouth of Madness, on the big screen.
Re-Animator is showing on 15th and 16th Jan and JC's flick, on 25th and 29th Jan. According to info gleaned from the BFI's website, Re-Animator will be DCP (because it doesn't say that it's a print) and In the Mouth of Madness will screen in glorious 35mm. Tickets are available via the BFI's website.
Although Re-Animator is a lot of gory fun and brilliantly played by Jeffrey Combs and the cast, the major draw is In the Mouth of Madness, right? Yes, Carpenter's 1990s output was a mixed bag, but I think anybody that saw In the Mouth of Madness, in their teenage years, or at the pictures, or on Sky Movies, or VHS (I saw it on the telly), remembers the film being very cool and very weird.
Lovecraft, however, has endured a not very successful relationship with the movies. Roger Corman's The Haunted Palace, in 1963, was the first adaptation of the master's work, even if AIP imposed a Poe-related title on Corman's movie, which was based very loosely on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (written 1927, published 1941).
Blyth's brief synopsis for the forthcoming event really does hit the nail on the head, regarding the issues that film-makers and screenwriters face, when attempting to adapt Lovecraft's cosmic horrors and eldritch nightmares for the screen.
"Rarely can the term ‘unfilmable’ be used with such conviction as when describing the literary works of renowned horror scribe HP Lovecraft. While his stories of wild imagination (and even wilder terror) vividly painted perverse worlds of mythical dread, his singular vision has all too often left filmmakers confounded when it comes to breathing cinematic life into his creations. However, when one gets it right the results are staggering. Here, in our new cult cinema strand, we celebrate two examples of how it should be done."
Stay alert for more info on the BFI monthly cult strand in the next few weeks. Below are trailers and one-sheets for each film.
In The Mouth of Madness poster